Sun shining from behind a white cloud against a vivid blue sky. It suggests hope.

It’s been quite a year!

As a member of the Lutheran Women of Australia (LWA) committee, we are facing a challenging time trying to organise the next LWA Convention to be held in Victoria next year. During the COVID-19 crisis, travel, the closing of borders and the many other obstacles that we are facing with the organisation of Convention is very challenging.

With the help of God, fortunately, we have the use of computers, emails, phone calls and other sources of technology, which assists us to be able to communicate with one another. In the past this would not have been an easy task. We are facing many challenges with all the unknowns and answers with the planning of convention.

Many a time we have organised meetings and booked accommodation only to need to reschedule and cancel and rearrange for another time and then be cancelled again. Thankfully, many of the places have been very understanding and considerate as they, too, are in the same circumstances.

We have faced the challenge of seeking ways in which to distribute the Lutheran Women magazine to the subscribers and to keep communications available. Many of our subscribers are unable to attend ladies guild or fellowship meetings but enjoy and look forward to reading the Lutheran Women magazine Devotions, Bible Studies and the informative and interesting articles printed each month. A huge thank you to the editorial committee for organising the mailing of the magazine and the extra work required to have it mailed out individually to each subscriber Australia wide.

We live in hope that we may return to a changed normal life, soon, when we can meet together again for worship and our guild and fellowship meetings.

No-one really knows when this COVID-19 will be over, and with fears instilled in us that it will still be around next year, I have trust in God that he is with us during this trying time.

We live with the uncertainty of not knowing what may occur by convention time next year, as to whether we will be able to hold a convention, or with the possibility of major Government changes to how we live our lives.

Although we have been unable to meet in person, our communication is well organised, and we are planning to meet via Zoom for a more personal approach and discussion.

The management of the committee is going to plan, as far as it possibly can, with the arrangments, paying the necessary accounts and processing the mail that needs to be attended to.

Because of the border restrictions, and travel between states, we have had difficulty meeting as the LWA Council and researching the best ways of communicating.

The Internet is in overload with people needing to work from home in some areas and with remote learning. Students have been restricted in attending school, with only children of essential workers being able to attend.

There are many changes in our lives with the restrictions of visiting family and friends locally and interstate. There have been border closures and inability to attend funerals of loved ones, and special occasions and milestones. The use of face masks, social distancing, dining out, no competitive sports and, most of all not being able to go to Church.

Not everyone has the ability to Facetime, email, phone or text message.

Sending flowers or a letter is a nice way of brightening someone’s day.

We give thanks to God that he is there with us as we face these challenges.

Although we are unable to worship together physically, spiritual support has been given by our pastors, church leaders and office staff, providing us with weekly Church bulletins, sermons, Bible readings and prayers to keep us in contact with our fellow Christians.

We give thanks to our pastors and congregations throughout the LCA, in our own congregations and Australia-wide for providing online services from many areas, that we can worship in many different ways.

The cancellations of ladies guild and fellowship meetings, zone rallies, state conventions, are among the things we miss attending. The necessities of plans having been made, the cancellations of things like guest speakers, and others involved, as well as the participants.

I feel privileged that God has me placed in the country, out of town, so we can self-isolate, only travelling to town for appointments and essential services when necessary.

Spending time relaxing, reading, gardening, and making masks has helped to keep me busy amongst all the daily needs that require attention.

People’s rights and liberties have been taken away, our lives have changed: jobs lost, the problem of social distancing, the wearing of masks and many other obstacles.

Through this COVID-19, God is walking with us every day protecting and caring for us, enabling us to let our lives shine and be thankful. Let us give thanks to God for he is good, and his love endures forever, even with the challenges ahead as we read in Romans 8:39 (GNT), there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.

About the Author

Leonie Hateley

Leonie is an extra member of the LWA Executive.

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